Twente Board invests 600,000 euros in strengthening ChipTech Twente

Twente Board invests 600,000 euros in strengthening ChipTech Twente

With an investment of 600,000 euros by the Twente Board, the chip technology cluster ChipTech Twente will be able to continue building on the ambitions drawn up last year. The money is intended for a program team that will realize the ambitions. Tim Tiek, with extensive experience in the semicon industry, has been recruited as general manager. Together with a program manager, about 50 chiptech companies and various knowledge institutions and partner organizations, he aims to strengthen the chiptech value chain in Twente, set up a research program into new heterogeneous chip systems and develop a future vision for a foundry in which these systems can be produced.

Tim Tiek recruited as general manager

Twente Board invests 600,000 euros in strengthening ChipTech Twente

The ChipTech Twente cluster was established just before summer 2022 by a consortium of Twente partners. The major chip shortages worldwide, the geopolitical uncertainty surrounding Taiwan’s largest chip producer and the call for technically skilled talent were also felt in Twente. Especially in Twente, because Prof. Dr. Ir. Bram Nauta’s Integrated Circuit Design department at the University of Twente and Saxion’s Electrical Engineering program have produced a strong SME cluster of chip design companies over the past 25 years. But also wider along the value chain, Twente’s unique position in global chip production is noticeable. It provides the region with many jobs, especially in combination with new technologies such as photonics, quantum and microfluidics. As Europe seeks to balance its dependence on Asia and the US by investing in its own chip value chain and training talent, the Twente partners have united within ChipTech Twente. In addition to strengthening its own regional position, it is also working with regions such as Brainport, Nijmegen and Delft to march together toward Europe. Behind the scenes, it is working hard on a joint national action agenda for chip design.

1,000 professionals needed within 5 years

Victor-Jan Leurs, director Twente Board: “Twente’s unique position as a global hotspot for chip design is extraordinary. You can hardly crack open an electronic device without there being a chip inside that was designed in Twente. From the Twente Board we believe it is of great importance to further strengthen that which Twente is recognized and acknowledged for worldwide with a contribution of 600,000 euros. This will give the cluster time to prepare with a professional team for European research projects, for example, and we can act in an organized way in the national and international lobby. We expect this investment to further strengthen the region economically and also create jobs. The companies in the cluster have already indicated that around 1,000 professionals will be needed within 5 years.”

Industry-driven strategy

Tim Tiek: “Twente has enormous potential. We have a unique position when it comes to knowledge of chip technology, and we now have millions on the shelf to expand this. Strengthening chip design, chip testing, equipment, production capacity and talent is of great strategic importance in the short and long term for Twente, the Netherlands and Europe. We are going to cash in on these opportunities with a strongly organized cluster that will achieve synergy for the entire chain. Fortunately, the companies and everyone else involved already have enormous energy; we are going to do this together. And we have to, because we have given ourselves the task of drawing up an industry-driven strategy. This means that we will work intensively with the companies to optimize R&D roadmaps, in close cooperation with the knowledge institutions University of Twente, Saxion and ROC van Twente. We are also investing in retaining and attracting talent, companies and activity, and we are strengthening the entire chain by working together on new research programs.”

“Nowhere in the world is there such a highly connected semiconductor ecosystem as in the Netherlands, and we can get much more value out of that. This not only makes us more independent, but it also has a huge impact on the local economy. The planned investments, the broadening of our value chain and even better cooperation will lead to an increase in earning power, accelerating further organic growth. Growth that is really needed to strengthen the Netherlands and Europe on the strategic topic of chip technology (EU Chips Act). Whereas Eindhoven is known worldwide for many semiconductor equipment toppers, such as ASML, Twente is precisely strong in chip design, photonics, nanotechnology, quantum and microfluidics. The presence of high-quality knowledge about these latest technologies gives us a unique position on the world stage. But we must maintain, build on and convert this lead into commercial success, or we will rapidly lose this position. We are now getting ahead of the chips of the future. If it is possible anywhere to merge the above technologies into new products and systems, it is possible here,” Tiek said.


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